Today, I am sharing this tasty Traditional Lemon Meringue Pie. You will find the perfect amount of tang, creaminess, and slightly sweet meringue. It will be the best pie for spring, Easter, or any time of the year.
Lemon Meringue Pie
I am a HUGE fan of lemon desserts especially when spring and summer arrives. A traditional Lemon Meringue Pie is always perfect for spring and Easter. Lemon desserts are great all year but during the warm months, I make lemon everything, Lemon Lush Bars, Lemon Cheesecakes, and of course lemonade.
Lemon Pie is such a classic pie recipe. Sure you can buy a prepared pie from the bakery but making pies from scratch is so much better than store bought. For years, I was intimidated and would not attempt to make my own homemade Lemon Meringue Pie. It was one of those recipes I figured would be very difficult to make. I knew it was not a easy recipe.
I am so happy I decided to attempt making my own lemon meringue pie. It really was much easier than I thought it would be. Yes, there are a few steps that take some attention but nothing to extreme. It’s all a matter of following each step very closely. Timing is also key.
There are many different recipes that have been developed over the years. Most of the recipes are quite similar and very traditional. Some will use sweetened condensed milk in the filling, others will use water. I use milk and I think it is best. I have tried quite a few different variations and this Lemon Meringue Pie recipe is my favorite. I found the recipe over on All Recipes but made some adaptions.
I usually make pies during the holidays. I look for them to be both delicious and impressive looking. So for my Lemon Pie, I added on a massive amount of meringue. We call it a mile high topping. The extra meringue really makes the pie look and taste amazing. The toasted peaks make it a real show stopper.
Tips for a Perfect Lemon Pie:
Have all your ingredients ready to go. Timing is very important when making this pie. Having everything all set for you to use as needed will be key to making the Best Lemon Pie.
You will want to pre-bake your pie crust. If you are using a pre-made, the directions are usually on the packaging. I find it takes about 9-11 minutes to get a nice gold color to the crust. Always stab your crust around the bottom and the edges with a fork before baking. If you do not, you will find your crust filled with bubbles.
When making your lemon filling, be sure to cook on low heat and whisk almost constantly. If you allow the filling to heat too quickly, it will scorch. Be sure to cook it long enough but not to long. Cook just until the filling starts to boil. If you cook to long your filling will become liquid.
When whipping your egg whites, you will need to be careful to not “over whip”. When you start to see the shininess and peaks forming, it is time to stop whipping.
When topping your lemon pie with your meringue, be sure that you cover all the lemon layer to the crust completely when the lemon is still warm creating a seal. This will help keep the layers from separating.
Be very careful to not over bake your pie. If you over bake, your meringue will tend to weep and cause extra moisture.
Ingredients needed to make a Traditional Lemon Meringue Pie:
1 Refrigerated Pie Crust
1 1/2 cup Sugar
3 tbsp Flour
4 1/2 tbsp Cornstarch
1/2 tsp Salt
3 Lemons, juiced and zested
3 tbsp Butter
2 1/4 cup Milk
6 Egg Yolks, beaten
6 Egg Whites
1/2 tsp Cream of Tartar
14 tbsp Sugar
How to Make Lemon Meringue Pie
Pre-bake pie crust according to package directions.
Let Cool. Set aside.
Leave oven on and set temperature to 350.
In a medium Sauce pan, add all filling ingredients except for egg yolks and butter.
Stir to combine.
Cook over low heat, whisking continuously until it begins to bubble.
Add butter and whisk until melted and combined.
Remove from heat.
Add 1/2 cup of warm mixture to egg yolks to temper. Stir until blended.
Add egg yolk mixture back to filling pan and whisk to incorporate.
Return to low heat.
Whisk constantly until mixture is thickened to custard consistency.
Pour filling into baked pie shell.
Combine egg whites and cream of tartar in a large bowl or stand mixer.
Whip at low speed to begin aerating.
Increase to medium when whites are foamy.
Continue whipping and add sugar, one tablespoon at a time.
Increase speed to medium high and whip until stiff peaks form.
Use a spatula and cover pie filling completely.
Take care to insure that meringue adheres to crust around the edges.
Bake for about 10 minutes until peaks of meringue are browned.
Remove from oven and allow to cool for 1 hour.
Refrigerate uncovered for at least 3 hours before serving.
Can I use a homemade pie crust?
For sure! Go ahead and use your favorite homemade pie crust recipe. You could also consider making my Easy 4 Ingredient Pie Crust. I used a store bought crust this time to keep the recipe a bit more simple.
Can I use canned lemon pie filling?
You could speed the process up drastically by using the canned store bought lemon filling. I would suggest heating the pie filling before adding it to the crust though. You will want the filling hot for the meringue to adhere to the filling. For the best lemon pie, you will want to make your lemon filling from scratch. It’s easier than you think.
Can I serve this Lemon Meringue Pie immediately?
For the best results with this particular lemon pie, you will want to make ahead. After assembling the pie, it will need to cool on countertop or cooling rack for about one hour. Then you will want to transfer it to the refrigerator to completely chill and set. I usually allow the chilling to occur over night for the best pie.
How do I store leftover Lemon Meringue Pie?
I highly suggest not covering this pie with any sort of cover or plastic type wrapping. I store it right in my refrigerator with nothing covering it. Covering it will make your pie become a soupy mess. I store my leftovers for 2-3 days. but this pie is best if served day 1-2.
Lemon Meringue Pie
- 1 Refrigerated Pie Crust
- 1 1/2 cup Sugar
- 3 tbsp Flour
- 4 1/2 tbsp Cornstarch
- 1/2 tsp Salt
- 3 Lemons juiced and zested
- 3 tbsp Butter
- 2 1/4 cup Milk
- 6 Egg Yolks beaten
- 6 Egg Whites
- 1/2 tsp Cream of Tartar
- 14 tbsp Sugar
- Pre-bake pie crust according to package directions.
- Let Cool. Set aside.
- Leave oven on and set temperature to 350.
- In a medium Sauce pan, add all filling ingredients except for egg yolks and butter.
- Stir to combine.
- Cook over low heat, whisking continuously until it begins to bubble.
- Add butter and whisk until melted and combined.
- Remove from heat.
- Add 1/2 cup of warm mixture to egg yolks to temper. Stir until blended.
- Add egg yolk mixture back to filling pan and whisk to incorporate.
- Return to low heat.
- Whisk constantly until mixture is thickened to custard consistency.
- Pour filling into baked pie shell.
- Combine egg whites and cream of tartar in a large bowl or stand mixer.
- Whip at low speed to begin aerating.
- Increase to medium when whites are foamy.
- Continue whipping and add sugar, one tablespoon at a time.
- Increase speed to medium high and whip until stiff peaks form.
- Use a spatula and cover pie filling completely.
- Take care to insure that meringue adheres to crust around the edges.
- Bake for about 10 minutes until peaks of meringue are browned.
- Remove from oven and allow to cool for 1 hour.
- Refrigerate uncovered for at least 3 hours before serving.